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Irish mom aborts ‘wanted’ baby with ‘fatal abnormality,’ discovers afterward baby was perfectly healthy

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

DUBLIN, May 17, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An Irish mother took advantage of the country's new abortion legalization to end the life of her "wanted" baby who had a "fatal foetal abnormality” only to discover afterward, to her devastation, that the initial test was wrong and that she had ended the life of a perfectly healthy baby. 

Every Life Counts' Vicky Wall said that the revelation was profoundly shocking and absolutely heartbreaking.

“We warned that abortion would become an expectation where a severe or life-limiting condition was suspected and now this family’s baby has been aborted. Nothing will bring that baby back, it’s just so devastating,” she said.

The pro-abortion Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists will conduct an independent investigation into an abortion that was committed at the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street in Ireland. There are reports that the parents had been told that their baby had Trisomy 18 genetic disorder, as a result of a screening test they had requested. 

The unborn baby was killed at about 15 weeks’ gestation in March at the hospital in Dublin, the biggest maternity facility in Ireland. A post-mortem analysis revealed that the baby did not have the genetic defect it was presumed to have. Subsequently, the parents called for an external investigation by the UK-based medical body. A final analysis showed that the baby was normal.  

Reportedly, Irish Minister for Health Simon Harris has been consulted about the investigation. The Department of Health is aware of the parents’ “distress" following the abortion of their child. Harris has been asked for conduct a statutory investigation of the circumstances.

Ireland voted last year to overturn the country’s constitutional ban on abortion. Beginning in January of this year, abortion is now permitted on demand for up to the 12th week of the unborn child’s life, to the age of “viability” if the child is believed to be a risk to the life or the “health” of the mother, and at any age if the child is at risk of having a “fatal fetal abnormality.”

Not all stages of the screening test requested by the couple were available from the UK, it is alleged, when they were deciding on the abortion. It was after the couple went ahead with the abortion that the final stages of the screening test were made available and that showed no anomaly. 

Otherwise known as Edwards Syndrome, the disorder is characterized by babies born smaller than normal and with heart defects. Babies with the disorder frequently have severe intellectual disability. Edwards’ syndrome results from a third copy of all or part of chromosome 18 that occurs in about one in every 5,000 births.

Non-invasive screening for fetal abnormalities is available to pregnant mothers in Ireland. A blood sample allows analysis of cell-free DNA circulating in the pregnant mother’s blood. The screening goes through several steps that are called by a final stage in which chromosomes from a high level cell culture are analyzed. Samples taken in Ireland are sent to the UK for analysis. 

Fatal abnormalities of pre-born babies are not diagnosed until the 20th week of gestation, usually, when a pregnant woman submits to a scan for abnormalities. The couple in question went ahead with the abortion during the midst of the second trimester of pregnancy.

Ellis Mulroy of Pro-Life Campaign Ireland told Ireland’s Spirit Radio News, “This is a tragic case for the baby and his or her parents. No test is perfect. Sometimes doctors get it wrong. In this case, it resulted in a catastrophe for the child. But let’s not forget that this issue is not about whether the child has a disability or life-threatening condition. Every child deserves life.”

Editor's note: Pete Baklinski contributed to this report.

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